When the pandemic hit and schools closed, I took a break from connecting with clients. Correction: I initially tried communicating that I was available to help with any voiceover needs, then realized that might not be the best idea after getting a not so positive reply from one of my contacts. I get it: we were all stressed, and scrambling toward an uncertain future. A voice talent looking for work was not a high priority.
Voiceover can be unforgiving business, but I’ve been lucky enough to develop relationships with a few clients that have work they send my way. And I’m always grateful for it, whether it’s a two-minute explainer, or a one-line pickup from a previous project, or an in-depth medical eLearning module. That works comes because I stay in touch with people. In order to stay afloat, you have to keep reaching out and trying to connect with people, or else you have no business because you’re not staying stay top of mind.
So, given the uncertainty, I took a break and focused on getting my kids through their school day, as what amounts to a volunteer teacher’s aide. Their success depends on my availability to meet their needs. My day became one of consistent interruption. Because I couldn’t focus for a long period of time, I started writing a series of daily absurdist Facebook updates. It was a means of focusing my attention for a short period of time and channeling my anger at the situation elsewhere, and it made me feel better to make people laugh with something I actually wrote.
Recently, I started to reconnect with my contacts again. The world had changed so drastically that I thought the time was right to check in on them and get a sense of how their business is doing. It has been ugly for a lot of people I’m connected with. I work for myself, many of my clients are in business for themselves, and our end clients, well, some of them were getting laid off, furloughed, or otherwise cast into the wind. Uncertain times indeed.
Given this uncertainty, many of us need to pivot and change how we’re doing things. But what does that look like? How else can I help those I’m connected to?